Thursday, March 31, 2016

A breath of fresh air

Recently I visited a resort, an area known for its beautiful lakes and trendy shops. I love seeing new gardens with lovely landscaped flowers and plants and local arts and crafts. My daughter made me a large leather tote that I carry around while traveling. I like to carry some picture folders with me of some kids living in poverty for my volunteer work, in hopes of finding a sponsor for them (it's always good to be prepared).

One of the shops had many lovely hand crafted things. Most items were one of a kind and artistically done. I can't help looking at all of them and study how something was made instead of just admiring the workmanship. I guess that is just in my makeup. :)

One of the ladies in a shop was trying on a pair of beautifully decorative shoes. "I will take these" she said, and the lady working there said "sometimes you just have to treat yourself". The cost of the shoes was $600.00.

Don't get me wrong I think everyone SHOULD enjoy their prosperity and not feel bad for doing so. She is probably building a hospital somewhere, but I could not help but do the math; if someone just asked for a discount of $39 on that pair of shoes would they sponsor a child? This is what happens to you when you carry a bunch of kids around in your purse! In the past, I would have just thought she was just another wealthy lady and thought nothing of it. I used to embroider baby items in silk for ladies and most of them didn't even have babies. So when did this happen? When did I start evaluating things like this? When a lovely lady is just buying a pair of expensive shoes.

It makes me think of poverty in general. I have noticed that the people that have struggled the most are the most generous. This is especially true for the really poor. I knew a lady in a third world country named Rosita and the first thing she did after she met me was she gave me some of her most prized possessions. A little ceramic elephant, a small pitcher - like a creamer - and her best table cloth off her table. I was mortified of course and did not want to take them but my husband told me that you must or you would make her feel bad. There where holes in the walls of this tiny house, buckets to store water and a little camp stove to cook on. I felt horrible!  Lucky we were able to find a way to send things to them later to help improve their living conditions.

Her selfless, sweet generosity was a breath of fresh air and left a mark on me. Of course, I'm still learning this everyday!


I think this why World Vision's work is so important.  We can't assume everyone has the same priorities and that someone else will do it, when often times we maybe the very one that God wants to use to change someone's life. 

Think about that next purchase (boat, car, clothes, investment property, shoes), I challenge you to negotiate the price and use the savings to sponsor a child! Try this and see, for only $39 a month you can change a life!


A breath of fresh air is a great thing to take and an even better thing to be.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Easter and the hope of the world

Yikes! Easter is approaching so fast this year I didn't have time to do much of anything in preparing.  
My children are grown so I didn't have to make Easter baskets or go on Easter egg hunts or buy Easter dresses.  I may send this little post to some loved ones and hope it will bless them.  The cross above was given to me at a conference I went to this last Fall.  There was a basket there at the front with beautiful crosses made from olive wood.  Every cross was different but all were made from the same type of wood.  Some were deeply grained and marked with knots and some were bright.  I found mine quickly and sat down and watched everyone pick up their crosses.  All picked up their crosses with both joy and sorrow.  The different ways people responded to their crosses was so touching to me and I will carry that with me always!
 Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me~Luke 9;23
Jesus came to a broken and hurting world, much like the world were living in right now.  Fighting and violence was prevalent in those days, like it is today.  Some of the conflicts are even the same as they were centuries ago.  Jesus came, suffered and died for us on the cross and rose again.  So in three days the most tragic day turned into the most joyful day.  He is the hope of the world because he conquered the grave for us.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.  But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
  Then Jesus told them this parable:  “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?  And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says,
 ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’~ Luke 15;1-6
Happy Easter!
Praise awaits you, our God, in Zion;
    to you our vows will be fulfilled.
 You who answer prayer,
    to you all people will come.
 When we were overwhelmed by sins,
    you forgave our transgressions.
 Blessed are those you choose
   and bring near to live in your courts!
We are filled with the good things of your house,
    of your holy temple.

 You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds,
    God our Savior,
the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas,
 who formed the mountains by your power,
    having armed yourself with strength,
 who stilled the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    and the turmoil of the nations.
 The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.
~Psalm 65;1-8